From Montego Bay to Ocho Rios, Kingston to Port Antonio, cruise passengers disembarking in Jamaica for the day can choose from a wide range of activities sure to excite and delight. Whether it’s enjoying the destination’s famed white sand beaches and turquoise waters, or the breathtaking scenery and thrilling excursions, or sampling the mouth-watering culinary creations and exploring the rich cultural heritage, there is something for everyone to ensure a fun-filled warm weather getaway.
“Most cruise passengers are usually in port for a short time and are seeking memorable experiences that capitalize on their time on island,” said Paul Pennicook, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “We’ve worked diligently with our partners to ensure Jamaica’s attractions are well rounded and offer something for everyone."
Following is a selection of activities to consider while in port during a cruise in Jamaica:
For the Gourmand
Yaaman Adventure Park, Ocho Rios
Yaaman Adventure Park offers a hands-on cooking experience at the historical Great House at Yaaman Adventure Park. Guests will tantalize their senses with a variety of herbs and spices as Chef Irie guides them in the preparation of traditional Jamaican dishes. The cooking class takes place on a verandah with a panoramic view of the Caribbean Sea.
For the Coffee Lover
Craighton Estate Coffee Tour, Kingston
The Craighton Estate is where the “king” of coffee beans is grown and harvested. The estate offers a tour of the plantation to learn how the aromatic bean is produced high up in Jamaica’s famed Blue Mountains, including the 200-year-old Craighton Estate Great House. Tastings are included.
For the Whole Family
Dunn’s River Falls, Ocho Rios
Dunn’s River Falls is the perfect environment for fun and relaxation for the entire family. Skilled guides lead adventurous visitors up the 600 foot falls, where the view from the top is breathtaking. There is also an accessible beach located at the base of Dunn’s River Falls where the river meets the ocean. A new addition, Central Gardens, recently opened and includes a cluster of three gardens, a pool with waterslide and splash pad, kiosks selling ice cream and pizza.
For the History Buff
Rose Hall Great House, Montego Bay
The Rose Hall Great House has a story with all the elements of an engaging novel. Dead more than a century, Annie “White Witch” Palmer still evokes fear of her reign as the mistress of the Rose Hall Great House. Visitors can take a guided tour of the house that some say is haunted and learn all about the legend of the White Witch.
For the Explorer
River Bumpkin Farm, Falmouth
Nestled in the hills of Jamaica’s Cockpit Country, Island Route’s River Bumpkin Farm takes visitors off-the-beaten-path to a 59-acre plantation marked with rivers, forests waterfalls, limestone caves, lush foliage and birdlife. The plantation offers exciting eco-excursions ranging from river tubing, kayaking, historic biking, walking tours, and more.
For the Musician
Bob Marley Museum, Kingston
This Jamaica Heritage site offers an inside look at the life of legendary reggae artist Bob Marley, his music, his family and his faith. The museum features charming and knowledgeable guides who escort guests through the grounds, including an interactive theater, photographic gallery, Exhibition Hall, Gift Shop and Café. To ensure authenticity, all the original rooms have been kept as they were when Bob lived there.
For the Adrenaline Junkie
Mystic Mountain, Ocho Rios
The Rainforest Bobsled at Mystic Mountain is modeled after the famous Jamaican bobsled team sled and the ride is powered by gravity. Riders need only push a foot-brake to release the bobsled down the track. Among the other features of this environmentally friendly attraction: Sky Explorer, a state-of-the-art chairlift; Canopy Zip Line; Mystic Waterslide; Infinity Edge Pool, and a Jamaican athletic heritage museum.
For the Nature Lover
Rio Grande Rafting, Port Antonio
Rio Grande Rafting is one of the more coveted activities in Port Antonio. Glide along the river on a thirty-foot bamboo raft. The three hour journey down the Rio Grande winds through rainforests and farmland, guided by a raft captain. Swimming in the river is perhaps the best part of the journey. Have a traditional Jamaican lunch at the rustic Belinda’s Riverside Eatery.
For more information about Jamaica, go to www.visitjamaica.com.